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Hinsdale, IL Plane Crash, Sept 1961

D. O'MALIA, New York.
MRS. J. SCHMIDT, boarded in Chicago.
BOB SEIGEL, traveling on government transportation receipt issued in Santa Monica.
MRS. MARIE-THERESE SCHILINQUER, Boston, French translator for Christian Science Publishing, Co., en route for visit in San Francisco, formerly her home.
ALBERT SKURCENSKI, Inglewood, en route home after visit with SKURCENSKI'S mother in Pittsburgh.
MISS SUN, New York.
MRS. CAROL W. WALLS, Streator, Ill.
WALLS Infant.
MRS. ESTELLA WOODS, 67, 5865 Agra St., Bell Gardens, where lived with daughter, MRS. GERTRUDE PRITCHARD; been visiting at Binghamton, N. Y., with families of her son, MALVERN, and two daughters, MRS. HERBERT LOBBELL and MRS. LORETTA PERRY.
MRS. S. WOOD, boarded at Pittsburgh.
WALDREN, New York.
NANCY WALKER, 17, Oakland, Calif., daughter of MR. AND MRS. RAYMOND A. WALKER, Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical, Co.
Capt. R. SANDERS, boarded at Chicago, apparently not related to Capt. JAMES H. SANDERS, plant's pilot.
The Crew:
Capt. JAMES H. SANDERS, Manhattan Beach.
First Officer DALE TARRANT, Redondo Beach.
Flight Engineer JAMES C. NEWLIN, Balboa Beach.
Hostess NANETTE FIDGER, Hermosa Beach.
Hostess BARBARA J. PEARSON, Santa Monica.

San Mateo Times California 1961-09-01



Disaster Ninth Worst in Aviation's History; Wreckage Combed for Clues.

Radio Ham Monitored Pilot's Last Words: 'Got an Electrical Fire - What Should I Do?'

Corn Field Littered with Bodies of Victims; Rain Shields Ghoulish Looters Robbing Dead.

HINSDALE, Ill. (UPI) - A Trans World Airlines Constellation with 78 persons aboard plunged to earth today and exploded with such a roar that householders feared an atomic bomb had fallen. There were no survivors.
TWA officials in Chicago raised the death count from 77 to 78 seven hours after the crash with the discovery that an infant, JAMES CHAMBERLAIN, had been on board the ill-fated Boston-to-San Francisco flight with his family.
The all-coach plane, carrying some families of vacationers on their way to Labor Day weekend holidays, was enveloped in a ball of orange flame at 2:06 a. m. CDT, three minutes after it had roared off the runway at Chicago's Midway field bound for Las Vegas, Nev.
The plane plummeted like an arrow into a corn and soybean field on the outskirts of the community of Clarendon Hills, close by this western Chicago suburb.

Continued on page 6


Hinsdale Crash

This was Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 706. According to the Civil Aeronautics Board, it was determined that the cable physically connecting the first officer's control wheel to the aileron boost unit had disconnected.

This had caused the ailerons to put the aircraft in a starboard-wing-down attitude, and had prevented the pilots from being able to correct the bank. The cables attaching the pilots' control wheels to the aileron boost unit had been removed two months before the accident during routine maintenance; a safety cable that held part of the assembly together had not been replaced when the cables were hooked back up. The contact slowly separated, eventually completely failing during the takeoff sequence.

This was the fifth accident involving the Electra since its introduction in early 1959. Although this accident was clearly not caused by design failure (as two previous Electra accidents - in Buffalo, Texas and Tell City, Indiana - had), the crash added to the poor reputation of the model among travellers and airlines at the time.

A witness to the crash told the "New York Times" that the plane plummeted to Earth "like a comet."

This was not the Electra Crash

The flight is clearly identified in the story as a TWA Constellation.

The CAB Docket # is SA-363 adapted 12/11/62.

The Probable cause was: "The Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the loss of an AN-175-21 nickel steel bolt from the parallelogiam linkage of the elevator boost system, resulting in loss of control of the aircraft."

The NWA Electra 188C mentioned by Greg Eichelberger was the subject of CAB Docket # 364 adapted 10/12/62.

Emma Diehl Little

My maternal grandmother, Emma Diehl Little, was one of the victims of this disaster. At the
time,I was three years old and have, fortunately for me, few memories of this. My dad was
destroyed mentally by this tragedy and my family would be affected adversely until my parents divorced over a decade later.
Thank You,
Don Little Jr.

I was told of this tragedy

I was told of this tragedy as I was growing up and didn't know much about it until I researched this. Very sad. Never got to meet her. She was my Great Aunt. I knew her sister; my Aunt Katherine. Hope you are doing well.

E. Little

The "E. Little" who died in this tragedy is my paternal grandmother, Emma Diehl
Little. I was three years old at that time. The day after the crash, my mom gave birth
to my brother Kevin. He too, would die too soon, at the hands of a drunk driver. I am the
only one of my brothers who knew her. I miss her and I wish I'd had a chance to
get to know her.
Thank you and god bless
Don Little Jr

Emma Diehl Little

You can verify my grandmother's identity through the NY Times article of 9-2-1961. Her name is on the list of the dead. Take Care,
Don Little Jr.


Many years have gone by since 1961, when I first heard the news about Nanette. She graduated Speedway High School shortly after I did. I did not know her personally but remember what a cute and friendly girl she was, always smiling, always happy. Now thanks to the internet I've been able to review all the details and realize what an incredible tragedy it was for her family, her fiance, and all the other families involved. My belated condolences go out to her family and all the others. I was just watching the movie "Amelia" and it reminded me of Nanette and was finally able to express my feelings about her. So sorry.

The only English man on this

The only English man on this flight was a great friend of mine Roger Berrif who was going to San francisco to start a new life . He was 21 years old . He came from Stockport England and even after all these years I think of him often

Marilyn Waldron

My aunt Marilyn was killed on this flight.

She was returning from Italy where she had just visited our family (we were stationed in Toronto).

I was 3 years old and she was 23.

My condolences to the 1000s who were adversely affected by this disaster.

I would like to get a copy (or image) of the NY Times article mentioned above.

Waiting to see her again in the resurrection promised in the Bible.

hindsdale crash

Yes, Emma Diehl Little, 56. was my mother and on her way out to California to visit with my family. We did receive a copy of the CAB report and was told the accident was caused by the loss of this steel bolt that controlled the elevating system of the plane. It was not determined if it was missing before or on the point of impact. A long time has passed but one never loses the sadness of losing a loved one so quickly without being able to say goodbye, or I love you.

article | by Dr. Radut